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Local News

Yorkville City Council vote on old county jail pact expected Aug. 27

YORKVILLE – A terms agreement for the sale of the old county jail could be up for a vote during the next Yorkville City Council meeting.

The Yorkville City Council heard a review of but did not take action on the agreement between the city and developers Peter McKnight and Cary Cole for the old county jail sale during the council's meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13 at City Hall.

Yorkville City Administrator Bart Olson said the main updates made to the proposed agreement include the developers receiving 100% of whatever TIF tax revenue the building might generate for five years starting with any taxes received in 2020. He said the developers would then receive 90% of those revenues as a rebate from the city during the next four years, 85% during the three years after that and 80% during the three years thereafter.

“And we do anticipate that [the proposal] will be on the Aug. 27 City Council agenda for consideration,” Olson said.

The matter came before the City Council after the terms of the agreement between the city and the developers were outlined during of the city’s Aug. 6 economic development committee meeting.

Some of the terms include the city paying the developer a total of $115,000 in out-of-pocket tax increment financing, or TIF, funds, with the developers receiving those funds contingent on finishing the roof of the building, removing the lead-based paint in the house, completing the residential units and completing the entire project. There is also a deed restriction that the historic, eastern part of the building may never be torn down.

Pete Ratos, city building code official, said during the meeting that he would be present for those asbestos and lead inspections for the property.

Olson had said the terms of the agreement also include the sale not including the parking lot and protections for the city in a scenario where the project is not completed, abandoned or both. He had said other terms, such as whether a leasing agreement for city-owned parking spaces could be worked out for the developer as part of the building, still have yet to be determined.

Yorkville Ward 3 Alderman Joel Frieders said he personally has no preference for what is done regarding parking within the agreement because there are no nearby homes that would be adversely affected in that regard. He said he thinks that it would make more sense to be creative with the property that's already there.

“So I think that’s something where it’s like, you do what you gotta do,” Frieders said.

The TIF district that the old jail is located within expires in 2041, according to city officials.

Olson said he also wanted to reiterate that the property is currently not generating any property taxes. He said the intent is to get a viable for-profit developer at the property, which previously was threatened to be torn down by various groups for two decades, who is going to generate new tax revenue for the city that would go toward the TIF agreement or to the city for redevelopment purposes.

“And at the end of the day, it will be returned to the tax rolls when the TIF is completed,” Olson said.

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